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FUNN’s VGX Event is Off to a Great Start

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School and university students, amateur as well as professional video gamers and hordes of YouTubers created a buzz at the VGX Event that took off on June 19 at the Expo Centre, Sharjah. The exclusive gamers’ meet is being organised by FUNN, the Sharjah-based organisation that promotes and supports media arts learning for children and the youth in the UAE. The event will run till June 21, from 9:00 am to 2:00 pm and 4:00 to 9:00 pm. However, the timings will be from 5:00 pm to 9:00 pm on June 21, Friday.

On the first day, VGX Event showcased an array of workshops for all ages. The programme. which will be available on all days, include:

  • ‘Viruses Attack’, an interactive workshop aimed at children aged 6 – 12 years to educate them about safety in video gaming to protect them from the dangers of electronic crimes.
  • ‘Create Your Favourite Character’, an arts and crafts session for children which teaches them to design their own video game characters.
  • ‘Photography Games and Tricks’, an interactive workshop where attendees will be taught to explore and try out various tricks and games to take creative and artistic pictures.
  • ‘Sensor Games’, a workshop on kinetic energy and how you can play video games handsfree without using controls.
  • ‘Electronic Crimes’, a session for ages 13+ to raise awareness about the risks of electronic crimes through video games and how to play safe.
  • ‘Game Design as a Career’, a presentation on game design as a professional career. Trainees will be taken through the stages of designing a game, and learn the entire process first-hand.

The session will include the history of game design, modern games era, virtual reality games, the process of game design, different stages of game design, and game design as a profession. The aim of the event, the first of its kind to be held in the emirate of Sharjah, is to tap the popularity of video games among children and young people and use it to benefit them by increasing their creativity, intellectual skills and stimulate lateral thinking.

Sheikha Jawaher bint Abdullah Al Qasimi, Director of FUNN and Sharjah International Children and Youth Film Festival, said, “We are happy that VGX Event is being received with such enthusiasm by its target audience. The educational and entertaining workshops cover all aspects of gaming with a hands-on approach that bring the participants up-to-date about the latest trends in this creative industry.”

She added: “We are committed to empowering the children and youth of Sharjah and the UAE with the best of relevant skills and training in all fields. Video gaming too plays a prominent role in character improvement through puzzles and games that involve problem-solving and require logical communication.”

Beginners and experienced professionals will be able to access the latest versions of games. FUNN aims to nurture a future generation of creative artists in the media and film industry, and promotes new media works and films made by children and young filmmakers in the UAE at international film festivals and conferences worldwide. Its larger goal is to foster talent through these festivals, conferences and workshops locally and internationally.

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UAE’s First Off-Road and Adventure Park XQuarry to Open on Feb 5th in Mleiha

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 Thrill-seekers and adventure lovers in the UAE can now look forward to a new address! The XQuarry Off-Road & Adventure Park located around Al Faya Mountain in the Mleiha desert in Sharjah is set to open for the public on February 5th and 6th, 2021 offering off-roading thrill, obstacle races, hikes, and remote- control cars, guaranteeing unbeatable fun, action, and adventure.

XQuarry Adventure Park, UAE’s first Off-Road and Adventure Park caters to off-roaders and adventure -seekers with almost 15km of tracks, 20 custom- build off-roading obstacles, a dedicated obstacle running course, mountain bike trails, a remote-control car area as well as hiking trails

Spread across approximately a million square metres of an old cement quarry, XQuarry offers a range of adventurous and fun activities for people of all ages and fitness levels, featuring Off -Roading, Obstacle Running, Mountain Biking, Hiking and Remote-Controlled Cars.

XQuarry Adventure Park provides the opportunity for all to escape the ordinary, explore thrilling and challenging activities and immerse themselves in a fun-filled day amidst magnificent desert scenario. The focus of the park is to provide outdoor training and education for people to learn and master their skills to act safe and responsible in the outdoors.

The XQuarry Off-Road and Adventure Park have been created in close co-operation and strategic partnership with Mleiha and Sharjah Investment and Development Authority – Shurooq (Sharjah Government). Ahmed Obaid Al Qaseer, Chief Operating Officer, Sharjah Investment and Development Authority (Shurooq) said, “We are happy to partner with XQuarry in launching UAE’s first Off-Road and Adventure Park in Sharjah. Mleiha, home to rich history and landscapes, is already well-known among travellers for the diverse desert experiences. The new adventure park, being first of its kind in the UAE, will provide a set of completely different experiences for off-roading enthusiasts and adventure lovers and will give more reasons to explore Sharjah’s central region.”

Saoud Al Kaabi, Director and Partner, XQuarry Off-Road and Adventure Park said, “I love the silence and tranquility of the desert and mountains especially after busy days on film sets or events. It’s important for me to share the beauty of my home country with other people and especially, get the younger generation out in nature to explore and experience adventures in a safe environment. XQuarry is just a step in that direction.”

Daniel Birkhofer, Managing Partner, XQuarry Off-Road and Adventure Park said, “We want to help people develop their off-roading skills and technical knowledge to make them better drivers. This applies also to the other activities we offer – whether you experience alone, in groups or with one of our guides does not matter, you will improve your skills and experience fun with new adventures. We are happy that our partners, Sharjah Government and Sharjah Investment and Development Agency (Shurooq) have been highly supportive in helping us materialise this venture, without them this project would not be possible.”

THE OFF- ROADERS can find approx. 15km of off-roading tracks requiring different skill levels as well as technical modifications on the vehicle. The tracks mostly made of gravel and rocks and a mud pit, come with several obstacles for added fun and adventure. Since most of the impressive dunes in the Northern Emirates are just outside the park, visitors can take advantage of the opportunity to combine a desert drive with a park visit. Drive experiences with rented 4×4 vehicles at XQuarry will be available in the second phase of the park opening.

OBSTACLE RUNNING at XQuarry is the most amazing and challenging permanent obstacle course in the UAE. Approximately 2km of running distance filled with different obstacles await the adrenaline junkies and if this is not enough, trail and ultra-runners can extend their running distance by including the hiking trails. The obstacles include climbing, jumping, crawling, swinging, balancing and voila, you might even get wet!

MOUNTAIN BIKING (MTB) at XQuarry is the closest mountain cycling trail to the big cities reachable in less than an hour. There are single trails as well as MTB obstacle trail and what’s more, you can extend the trails outside the park which go beyond 10km. Enjoy a fun ride up and down small hills or meander through the steep curves and bumps to add to the thrill and fun. Rental bikes are expected to be available soon.

HIKING TRAILS abound for thrill- seekers and families with breath- taking panoramic views of the desert. Short family-friendly loops are available for beginners, while the more daring hikers can scramble through the rocky hurdles and cliffs to reach the mountain top.

REMOTE – CONTROL CARS (RC) are another highlight of the park with approximately 500m of custom-built RC tracks along with dedicated shaded areas for the operators and spectators to overlook the track. Additionally, there are race tracks with curves and jumps to compete for the fasted lap and those seeking technical challenges can enjoy the RC Obstacle Track which shall be available in near future.

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Full Box Sets and All-Time Favourites Are Available on STARZPLAY

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The entertainment fiesta never stops on STARZPLAY, the leading subscription video on demand (SVOD) service in the MENA region, which continues to provide its million-plus subscribers with premium content. With people spending more time at home now, this is the perfect opportunity to binge-watch your favourite shows. From full box sets of the best shows to the latest must-watch Hollywood blockbusters as well as continuing hit titles, there is something for everyone.

Watch the cult classic sitcom, The Big Bang Theory, which remains a top choice for comedy fans, and especially popular among STARZPLAY subscribers, who had the chance of watching the series finale on the platform at the same time it aired in the US last May. So, it may be time for fans to re-visit their favorite scientist pals (and Penny!) and enjoy all 12 seasons of the Golden Globe and Emmy awards winning series, only on STARZPLAY.

STARZPLAY is also home to the much-loved American sitcom The Office, the mockumentary on a group of typical office workers where the workday consists of ego clashes, inappropriate behavior, and boredom. Fans can watch all the nine-seasons of the hilarious documentary-style TV series that tells stories about contemporary work culture in the most hysterical way.

Fans of the epic historical drama Vikings can watch every new episode of the sixth and final season of the epic action-adventure, that has turned into a worldwide phenomenon, exclusively on STARZPLAY. And for those who are yet to delve into the show’s fascinating world, all previous 5 seasons are currently available on the platform.

While the world celebrated the 25th anniversary of the launch of Friends last year, the show remains one of the most beloved and popular sitcoms in TV history, STARZPLAY subscribers can binge-watch all ten seasons of the classic comedy through the platform anytime, anywhere and from any device, and share this joyful experience with their own friends.

Fans of the American television medical drama Grey’s Anatomy can watch every new episode of the fifteenth season starting March 28 on STARZPLAY. Watch how surgical interns and their supervisors embark on a medical journey where they become part of heart-wrenching stories and make life-changing decisions in order to become the finest doctors.

Available in 20 countries across the Middle East, North Africa, and Pakistan, with more than 10,000 hours of content including premium movies, exclusive and Arabic series, STARZPLAY has also secured its place as the number one player in the MENA region.

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OSN Intros PayPal as a Method of Payment

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OSN has announced its partnership with PayPal as an official payment method. The service is now available as of 6th March 2020, and with just four easy steps, customers can now subscribe to OSN and pay via Secure Payment Link on PayPal, making it swift and secure.

“OSN aims to always provide its customers with the best possible experience and works towards achieving just that every day. We are proud to announce this partnership with PayPal to allow our customers additional flexibility, making it even more convenient for them to watch their favourite shows and movies,” said Steve MacDiarmid, Chief Commercial Officer of OSN.

PayPal facilitates payments online, allowing customers to pay online using a secure internet account. You simply add your bank account, credit card or debit card details and whenever you pay using PayPal, you can choose which of your cards or accounts it pays with.

PayPal is available for new sales only via the website www.osn.com.

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